In the lead up to Christmas, the Government released its monthly financial statements for September and October. These statements also saw the government acknowledge that it is unlikely to achieve a surplus this financial year. A quick look at the data is in order. Growth in individual and company tax revenue appears to be slowing.
However, indirect tax is up sharply and growth in total revenue is tracking at a similar (but perhaps slower) rate to previous years.
Note: The source data on the Finance website includes this footnote to Note 2
on Indirect Tax (October 2012), which goes about half way to an
explanation for the leap in indirect tax: “(a) As foreshadowed in the September monthly statements, the carbon
price mechanism (accrual) revenue will be reported in the October and
future monthly statements. The revenue is recorded through the year as
emissions occur (no cash payments for the carbon price are due until
June 2013). Each monthly outcome will be based on the expected annual
results. The October amount includes the full year to date amount since
no carbon price revenue was shown in the July, August or September
accounts. The October outcome includes around $641 million of revenue
related to emissions in October and around $1,922 million related to
emissions in the July to September period.”
The rate of total spending looks like it's ticking up.
The underlying cash balance has not changed much this financial year. However, with revenue growth flat (or declining slightly) and expenditure still growing, it looks like we are no longer closing the gap on the annual deficit.